Workflow

Developing any product is a creative process with many participants who have different skills and experience. However, no matter how complex it is and what is the target it’s always possible to separate the production stage in which the bulk of assets and source code is authored.

When using Blend4Web the workflow is the following:

  1. Creating a New Project.
  2. Authoring 3D scenes in Blender.
  3. Running, tweaking and debugging scenes in the Viewer.
  4. Exporting scenes.
  5. Application Development.
  6. Building the project.
  7. Creating the target application.

Authoring Scenes

Besides the usual stages such as modeling, texturing, animation etc a scene should be prepared for working in the engine.

General recommendations:

  1. We strongly recommend to save your blend files in the blender/project_name directory. Auxiliary files which are not intended for loading in your app (for example, references), should be located there as well.
  2. Images and media files should be external and located in the deploy/assets/project_name directory.
  3. Files from which you export should contain resources which are actually required in your application (objects, materials, textures, animation etc).
  4. Scene components should have distinct names. They should not be named “Cube.001”, “Material” or “Armature”.
  5. We recommend you to practice linking components from other files (libraries).

Displaying Scenes in the Viewer

When using the local development server it’s possible to preview current scene using Fast Preview button located at the bottom of Blender’s 3D View window, and also on the Render -> Development Server panel in Blender. In this case the scene will be exported inside some temporary storage and loaded in the Viewer app.

The other method is using Run in Viewer export option. In this case the scene will be displayed in the Viewer app immediately after the export.

Exporting Scenes

The export procedure converts the scene from the Blender format to one of the formats used by Blend4Web.

_images/workflow_export_scheme.png

There are two formats: JSON and HTML.

The HTML format is used for simple stand-alone applications, where all the resources are packed into one HTML file that can then be easily deployed to a web page.

The JSON format can be used for creating such projects as well, but it also offers numerous extra features making it possible to create complex projects that require programming. Format differences and export options are described in the Export Formats chapter.

To export the scene, select Blend4Web (.json) or Blend4Web (.html) option from the File > Export menu, or type b4w export in the operator search menu (available by pressing Spacebar).

Note

If the scene uses Blender features not yet supported by the Blend4Web engine, errors may occur during export. Export errors are listed in this table.

Export options are described in detail in the corresponding section.

Application Development

At this stage an application is created. Logic for scene loading and user interaction is written using JavaScript. The application developer notes are given in the corresponding section.